Rahm Emanuel got weepy yesterday in front of the City Council. Mayor Emanuel was weepy because he has had a tough month. His tough month began when his lawyers lost a court battle to keep the video of Laquan McDonald being gunned down by a Chicago Police officer from public view.
Since then, Rahm has been on the defensive.
And that is how it should be. He intentionally kept that video from the public eye so he could win reelection.
There can be no doubt about that fact. Laquan McDonald was gunned down in October 2014, during a fierce election battle that ended in a run-off election between him and someone who, frankly, wasn’t qualified to be mayor.
Do you really think Rahm Emanuel didn’t know what happened to Laquan McDonald in October 2014?
So when the Mayor tearfully lectures us on what has to happen in Chicago, I ask myself: Why now Rahm?
The answer is easy: He’s sorry he got in trouble. If he was sorry about what happened to Laquan McDonald, Mayor Emanuel would have made that impassioned speech in November 2014.
But he didn’t. And that’s because he was up for reelection and he knew that if that video surfaced, a guy who shares a name with a Wookie would have been mayor of Chicago.
But, let’s take a moment and give Rahm Emanuel the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say he really thought that it was in the best interest of the city that he be reelected and therefore, he kept the video quiet until after the election. Under that hypothetical, Rahm would have come forward and given yesterday’s tearful speech in April 2015.
But what happened in April 2015? His office recommended a $5 million settlement with McDonald’s family. As part of that settlement, there was a provision that McDonald’s family would not seek to release the video of his shooting.
When he agreed to that settlement, did tearful Rahm Emanuel get on the dais, pound his fist on a podium and tell us that police shouldn’t shoot citizens 16 times?
He didn’t say a damn thing.
And that’s why this city needs new leadership. The only reason he’s crying now is because he got caught. It’s the preacher that gets busted for having an extramarital affair. The guy tearfully goes up to his flock and cries about having sinned.
And yesterday Rahm did cry. He did apologize. But he didn’t apologize for his involvement. He didn’t apologize for his lack of action. He apologized for the action of others.
I separate what the police officer did—which was clearly wrong—and what Rahm Emanuel, Anita Alvarez and Garry McCarthy did. I give McCarthy a bit of a pass, because he wasn’t acting independently. McCarthy was doing what his boss—Rahm Emanuel—told him to do. McCarthy had to go too—but he had to go because of his statements defending Dante Servin blindly firing a gun into an alley. Apparently, in McCarthy’s police force, off-duty police officers blindly shooting guns into alleys are OK. It isn’t. McCarthy should have said as much.
But in terms of Laquan McDonald, McCarthy took his marching orders from one person: Rahm Emanuel. Rahm Emanuel tried to cover up what Jason Van Dyke did to Laquan McDonald. Why else did he not discuss it until after a judge forced his hand? He only cared about Laquan McDonald after the public saw the video of his death; even though he told the Council to give his family $5 million seven months before. Emanuel is not crying for Laquan being a “second-class citizen” as he said yesterday. He’s crying because his reputation is in tatters.
Rahm Emanuel spoke passionately about the police “Code of Silence” without acknowledging that HE WAS PART OF IT FOR 400 DAYS!
If he truly believed everything he said yesterday, he would have made that speech months ago.
Rahm Emanuel: It is time for you to lead. You had over 400 days of opportunity to do so and you failed miserably. So now, if you want to lead: resign.
You said the city needs a new start; give us one and resign.
Filed under: Chicago Politics